5 Smart Tips You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Geoff Thomas - June 12, 2020

Getting Started

Whether you’re in your first year of college or pursuing a post graduate degree, great study habits will help you get the most out of your education.

After all, you need your education to do it all: develop habits that will support your career, build credentials that will get you hired by perspective employees, and grow your network of other like-minded individuals that will stay with you for life. And you—you're overwhelmed by a million things too: study for your next test, work on the long term project, get through those flash cards, write three papers, and go to the club meeting, plus you have to go to work in 2 hours. There is so much to do, and developing strong study habits is a great way to start.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through the 5 proven tips that will help take you from ‘I need a tutor’ to ‘I've got this.’  

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1 – Start with making sure you have all your study material handy

Any student that is going to have success studying has to have things to study. Whether it is just your class notes, the textbooks, or maybe a few professor handouts, having the appropriate study materials with you when you go to study makes your study time much more effective. Then you can begin asking the questions you should be asking when you go to study:

  • What did we cover last class meeting?
  • What didn't make sense to me during the lecture? (Rank them!)
  • What pages of the textbook am I supposed to read? (what’s critical?)
  • What web tools can help me when I get stuck?

2 – Set a clear pace

Let's face it, we all only have a limited amount of time to study, or maybe only a limited attention span to focus on studying. If you have 3 hours of study work to do, and you take 5 hours to do it, you're just wasting time, or if you finish it in 2, maybe you need to revisit some of the topics.

When you sit down to study, understand the limits of your own attention span and make sure you work within those limitations.  

3 – Keep it simple

Most students tend to overcomplicate their studying. By college, you've likely spent hundreds, or even thousands of hours studying. Do what works for you, but if you begin struggling or getting starting in a course is hard, maybe it's time to look for a different route.

Remember, in the end, it is only about learning the material, understanding the concepts and preparing for the test.

4 – Maintain a network of people to help

Eventually you are bound to get stuck. By having people you can turn to when you do, you will avoid the massive amounts of procrastination that happens when you stay there too long.

Most colleges provide tutoring centers, professor office hours and you can always text a friend to help. Sometimes when you are really stuck, it's best to make a note, set that to the side, and go get help when it's available.  

5 – Avoid sacrificing sleep to study

You're a college student. You should be better prepared than this. Poor sleep before a test normally reverses all the knowledge gains from cramming.

Just like in point #2, understand exactly what you need to study and set a clear pace to get it done before you should be headed to bed is a sure way to get a few exact points on your next exam.

The finale: last tidbits on study tips

So there you have it… we hope these 5 tips for studying more effectively were consumable and prompt you to get started in studying. 

About the Author

Geoff Thomas is a co-founder of Glue. When he’s not working on helping students max out their grades, he's logging miles on a jog. He calls Lakeland, Florida home.